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No good movies playing? No way! Check out your local arts cinema

The spring and summer months after the Oscars come out can be a difficult time for American movie goers. It seems like all of the well-crafted, interesting movies have gone into hiding and in their place have arrived jarring blockbusters and action flicks designed solely to overstimulate the senses. While those movies can sometimes be fun (Thor, I'm thinking of you here), overall they don't offer much satisfaction to people who see cinema as an art form on par with great literature or painting.

OPINION: Teaching to Greatness

Since moving to Syracuse from the Boston area in 2012, I have been captivated by the impassioned public push back here in Central New York on state-mandated accountability testing – high stakes testing that is lately driven by an approach to elementary and secondary education known as the Common Core Standards.

Why I still do this

State finals remind writer of joys inherent in covering sports

So you want to know - after all these years spent jotting illegible things down in notebooks, doing hundreds of interviews, writing thousands of stories, covering untold numbers of contests both mundane and meaningful, and then hammering it out in front of an inanimate computer screen, why keep doing it?

OCC to host business conference

Onondaga Community College is more than just an asset for students seeking an associate’s degree in one of the numerous programs they offer. OCC is home to the NYS Small Business Development Center (SBDC). The SBDC provides one-on-one advisement to start up and existing businesses. OCC staff at the SBDC consists of small business advisors who can advise an entrepreneur on making their business a success. The SBDC works with businesses of all varieties; home based, e-commerce, manufacturing firms — small to large. Services provided by the SBDC are free and confidential. Additionally, the SBDC partners with statewide agencies which provide a strong network of support. Some of the support the SBDC can assist with is business plan development, small business start-ups, organizational structures, exporting, cost analysis, marketing, financial management, financing strategies, training programs, business expansion, selling a business and research.

A committee’s thankless task

Group that decides NCAA Tournament field deserves some love, right?

This Sunday night, just after 6 p.m., anyone who cares about college basketball will see the only bracket that matters. Ron Wellman, athletic director at Wake Forest, and the rest of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee will unveil the 68 teams for our annual Dance – who they are, where they are going, when they’ll be playing.

Best against best

Broncos' offense, Seahawks' D makes for compelling Super Bowl

To save you a whole lot of time between now and Sunday night’s football game in New Jersey with a Roman numeral title that decides the championship of the National Football League, here is the lazy, tired narrative that will get repeated millions of times before they kick it off.

Home considerations

Even if Dome is maintained, new arena would help Syracuse

More than 30,000 packed the Carrier Dome on Jan. 11 as SU’s undefeated men’s basketball juggernaut dismantled North Carolina. Way more, perhaps up to 35,000, will be on hand next Saturday night for the arrival of Duke, even if they’re not as imposing as Blue Devil teams from seasons past.

Kicking off the New Year right

It is that time of year again — time to “set New Year’s resolutions,” “get in shape,” “work on the waist line,” “go on a diet,” “start fresh,” whatever you want to call it, most people feel the need to reevaluate their habits in January after all the holiday hoopla is over. Usually diet and exercise habits rank high on the list of “needs improvement.” On Jan. 1 (or maybe Jan. 2), the “hard core dieters” and the “gung-ho gym members” begin their quest. They sweat, grunt, groan, “give up carbs” and step on the scale every day. A month later, most of them find themselves exhausted, sore, injured, hungry, deprived, miserable and frustrated (maybe even a few other adjectives). They may or may not be in better shape or weigh less. If you plan on trying this approach, please reconsider. If you want long lasting success and really want to feel better emotionally and physically, please try this approach…

Sanity at South Jefferson

Top basketball coach returns; will we learn from it?

This was getting all too familiar. Again a successful, accomplished high school coach in Central New York was getting scrutiny from his employer. Again the coach’s future was put in jeopardy. Again a large part of the community organized itself in support of the coach.

Mandela, man and hero

Great man fought for freedom, forgiveness in extraordinary life

A Sunday morning, February 11, 1990, and I was still a freshman in high school. We were all about to head out to church, but we turned on CNN – and the most astonishing, remarkable and wonderful sight greeted us.

COLUMN: A Cautionary Tale

What exactly are the 'Planet Aid' boxes?

Gold is a color associated with autumn, school buses, and cautionary road signs. Recently my friends and I have puzzled over the gold bins for clothing collection appearing at three sites in Manlius and two in Fayetteville. The bins are not associated with local offices of the Rescue Mission or the Salvation Army, or any other local organization.

Uncommon grace

Show of sportsmanship in state soccer final a teachable moment

Jerry Mackey was, no doubt, elated that his Oneonta girls soccer team had just won the state Class B championship on a windy, wet Sunday night at SUNY-Cortland. But before he could celebrate with the girls he coached, he had a more important task at hand.

COLUMN: How a fortuitous meeting opened my mind

When I first met Vince Cook, I was working part-time as a server at the Market Diner in Syracuse. Vince was sitting alone, drinking coffee and reading a book on editing. He told me that he and his wife Terri were writing and publishing a book. He didn’t tell me the topic at that time, nor did I ask.

What’s in a name?

Long past time to deal with offensive nicknames, pro or otherwise

First, before we plunge into the raging discussion about what to call that Pro Football Team in Washington, let’s just admit that none of our hands are clean here – journalists included. Thousands of times in hundreds of stories over the decades, we have shown no shame, apology or hesitation dropping Native American-based nicknames into the flow of the story. And we’ll continue to do so in the days, months and years ahead.

COLUMN: Oh, horrors part two: a look at some of the local haunted attractions

Last week, we took a look at five local haunted attractions that were well worth checking out. Here are six more that you can sink your teeth into. Or perhaps it would be better to say that the ghouls here can sink their teeth into you.

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